"Area Sacra (Sacred Holy Area) In Largo di Torre Argentina, Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 10th June 2011
This archeological area was discovered in 1926-1930 during the works for construction of a new building. The name Torre Argenitna (Tower Argentina) derives from a nearby house of a 16th century bishop Hans Burckhardt from Strasburg (in Latin Argentorum), who called his residence Torre Argentina.
The Area Sacra (Sacred Area) complex in Largo Argentina is delimited by Via Florida, Via di San Nicola de’ Cesarini, Via di Torre Argentina, and Largo Argentina. Largo Argentina was a kind of ancient Roman square with four temples facing a courtyard to the east paved with travertine, that is why it is also named Area Sacra (Holy area) and the remains of Pompey's Theater. It is located in the ancient Campus Martius. Its origins come from the Republican epoch starting from the 4th century b.C.. There are four temples marked with the first letters of the alphabet A, B, C, D because it is not known to whom they were dedicated.
A portico is placed in front of the temples, still partly visible under the modern staircase that accesses the area, identified as Porticus Minucia Frumentaria, in other words the place where wheat was distributed free of charge to the Roman people. The entire area stands on travertine paving and dates back to the time of Emperor Domitian (81-6 A.D.).
Temple A, the first one on the northern side, follows in chronological order being dated back to the third century B.C.. The building suffered several transformations in the course of centuries, until it was incorporated into the Churh of San Nicola de’ Calcarario in the Middle Ages. It is probably the temple of Juno Curitis or Diuturna. The ruins of the large portico called Hecastylon (having one hundred columns), on which the sacred area bordered, are still visible on the northern side of the temple. The ruins of a public latrine are situated behind the temple.
In the Imperial epoch Area Sacra was placed in the middle of exceptional concentration of monuments: porticoes of Teatro di Pompeo, Curia di Pompeo (where Caesar was murdered), Baths of Agrippa, Pantheon and etc. Also located at the Area Sacra, on the side of the Via di Torre Argentina, is a collection of stones which have now been attributed as having formed part of the Curia of Pompey. This once rectangular building formed part of the complex which included the Theatre of Pompey and it was in the Curia of Pompey – a senate meeting place - that Julius Caesar was assassinated on 15 March 44BC. The current occupants of the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina are not Romans, but cats – stray cats to be precise. Today, the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina is home to a charming cat shelter (on the corner of Via di Torre Argentina).
Most people believe that the small tower above the “Area Sacra” on Largo di Torre Argentina is the tower that gave the square its name. That’s not true. The real tower is incorporated into the sixteenth century german-gothic style building by the name of “Casa del Burcardo” on Via del Sudario number 44.
The original medieval construction underwent significant modifications carried out by John Burkhard in the sixteenth century, the papal master of ceremonies from Strasbourg ( in latin: Argentoratum); and that is how the tower of the master of ceremonies from Argentoratum came about to be called the tower of Argentina.
Cornell in Rome’s headquarters in Palazzo Lazzaroni combines the grand architecture of 17th-century Italy with the amenities of a modern instructional facility, including a computer lab, wireless internet, a library, elegant architecture and art studios, as well as classroom and lecture hall space.
Located in the center of monumental Rome, near the Roman ruins of the Area Sacra di Largo Torre Argentina, the palazzo was constructed for Cardinale Giovanni Giacomo Cavallerini before 1676. The facility is just minutes away from such landmarks as Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Campo de’ Fiori.
Note: The monument is closed for refurbishment until further notice.
Getting Largo di Torre Argentina:
No. 52 Largo di Torre Argentina, Rome
Tram line 8 terminates right outside the Teatro Argentina, on Largo Argentina. This tram line stops at Trastevere Railway Station (for connections with the urban rail network and the train line to Rome Leonardo Da Vinci Airport). Trastevere Railway Station is also served by bus lines 781, 170 and 766 (the latter two stop at the Metro B underground stations of Marconi and Basilica San Paolo respectively).
Other bus lines with stops on Largo Argentina are: the 64, the 40 and the 492, which stop at Roma Termini, the central railway station, and the 30, which stops at Piramide Metro B underground station for the "trenino" (little train) to Ostia, the 70, which goes to the Colosseo Metro B underground station. There is a taxi rank in the area.
Area Sacra (Sacred Holy Area) In Largo di Torre Argentina
Via di San Nicola de' Cesarini, 1-124
Corner of Via Florida & Via di Torre Argentina
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Pigna (Torre Argentina) (Roma centro)
Area Sacra (Sacred Holy Area) In Largo di Torre Argentina is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "115"
Ticket: Full: €3.00, Reduced: €1.50. The cat shelter offer daily free tours of Area Sacra di Largo Argentina at 4:30pm. It is also always on view from the surrounding streets.
Phone: 0039 06 060608, 0667103819, 00 39 06 454 25240,
Reference Website: http://www.largoargentina.com/
Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary: http://www.romancats.com/